9 Ways to Stop Eating Processed Food and Lose Fat
- Sean Stevenson and his guest discuss their past addiction to processed food and offer strategies to break free from it.
- Processed food is often associated with childhood treats like the "bomb pop" truck.
- One strategy is to upgrade beloved food experiences by using healthier ingredients.
- Dark cherries are identified as one of the most nutrient-dense foods for improving metabolic health, sleep quality, and mental health.
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Upgrade Ingredients of Classic Treats (00:02:04)
- Replace processed treats with homemade versions using higher quality ingredients.
- Make cherry frozen yogurt pops using dark cherries, a natural source of melatonin, and stevia-sweetened lemonade.
- Experiment with healthier versions of favorite treats, such as low-calorie lemonade popsicles.
Eliminating Foods that Combine Fats & Carbs (00:04:37)
- Avoid processed foods that combine high amounts of fats and carbs, as they activate both reward pathways in the brain and increase addiction.
- Examples of such foods include Doritos (high carbs and fat) and Snickers bars (high sugar and fat).
- Opt for processed foods that keep fats and carbs separate, such as lower-fat, higher-carb options or higher-fat, lower-carb options.
- Consider making healthier versions of favorite treats, such as Snickers bites, using higher quality ingredients.
Creating a Microculture of Healthy Choices (00:05:51)
- Eating together as a family regularly promotes healthier diets, including more fruits, vegetables, and essential nutrients, while reducing the intake of unhealthy foods like ultra-processed foods, chips, soda, and artificial ingredients.
- Eating together with children just three times a week can significantly reduce the risk of obesity and disordered eating in children, even in low-income environments.
- The practice of eating together as a family encourages subconscious planning and the incorporation of more whole foods into the diet.
- Unexpected circumstances can still allow for family dinners by using food delivery services to maintain the routine and benefits of eating together.
- Eating together as a family can positively impact physical and psychological health, strengthen family bonds through rituals like sharing gratitude, and foster compassion in children through open communication.
- Setting a goal of having three meals a week focused on real, whole foods can significantly reduce the consumption of ultra-processed foods. Scheduling these meals in advance and writing them down on a calendar can help make them a priority.
- Having a protein appetizer before meals can help reduce hunger and prevent overeating.
Protein Appetizer (00:13:11)
- To avoid overeating processed foods, have a protein appetizer before grocery shopping or eating out, and engage in conversations while eating to slow down and make more conscious food choices.
- Savor each bite of food and eat slowly to reduce stress, improve nutrient assimilation, and promote better digestion.
- Limit the amount of processed foods consumed to reduce tolerance and addiction.
- Eating with others can switch our nervous system from the sympathetic (fight or flight) to the parasympathetic (rest and digest) state, promoting better digestion.
- Eating in isolation is associated with poorer diet quality, less satisfaction with food, and increased consumption of unhealthy foods.
- The average adult in the United States consumes 60% ultra-processed food, while the average US child consumes 67% ultra-processed food.
- To reduce the consumption of ultra-processed foods, control the environment by not bringing them into the house and creating a kitchen culture that emphasizes healthy eating.
Have an Environment You Enjoy Cooking in (00:21:39)
- Create a kitchen culture that makes you feel good about preparing healthy meals.
- Find ways to make cooking an enjoyable experience, such as listening to music or having family members help out.
- Create an environment that you look forward to stepping into to prepare healthier meals.
- Keep healthy foods visible and accessible in your kitchen.
- Remove unhealthy foods from your home.
- Make healthy snacks easily available.
- Plan your meals ahead of time to avoid making impulsive unhealthy choices.
- Cook in bulk to save time and effort.
Stack Your Meals (00:24:29)
- Make large batches of meals to reduce the frequency of cooking.
- Freeze leftovers for easy access.
- Avoid light, on-the-go breakfasts, as they often lead to poor food choices later in the day.
- Prioritize breakfast and make it a centerpiece of your family's routine.
- A larger, more nutritious breakfast can help regulate blood sugar and metabolism.
- Avoid light breakfast options that can lead to increased hunger and poor food choices later in the day.
Have a Good Breakfast (00:27:08)
- Prioritize having a good breakfast to reduce overall food intake throughout the day.
- Protein-focused breakfasts, such as eggs, can increase satiety and improve metabolic markers compared to high-carbohydrate breakfasts like bagels.
- Eating real, nutrient-dense foods for breakfast can promote satiety and reduce the desire for ultra-processed foods.
- Ultra-processed foods dominate the average adult and children's diets in the United States, contributing to overconsumption and poor health outcomes.
- Aim to shift the ratio of ultra-processed foods in the diet towards more real, nutrient-dense foods.
- Gradually reduce the consumption of ultra-processed foods and increase the intake of whole, unprocessed foods.
Shift Ratio of Whole vs Processed Food Intake (00:31:08)
- Aim for a 70:30 ratio of minimally processed or unprocessed foods to ultra-processed foods.
- Prioritize whole foods for improved metabolic health, sleep quality, and energy levels.
- Upgrade favorite desserts and dishes with real, whole food ingredients.
- Honey is a nutritious sweetener with antioxidant and enzyme content.
- Honey consumption can improve fasting blood sugar, blood lipids, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Honey has potential benefits in reducing neuroinflammation, which can lead to belly fat and insulin resistance.
- Become more kitchen and food literate to make informed food choices.
- Encourage and support extended family members to adopt healthier eating habits.
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